Monday, September 29, 2008

Mississippi Kite (s?), Pipit, Moorhen, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Hawk Flight underway

At least one Mississippi Kite has been floating around Cape May this morning, seen from the hawk watch, the Beanery, and the state park trails. The bird we saw on our Monday "meadows" walk (which was diverted to the state park because TNC's refuge remains closed for phragmites spraying) was a second year type, with mostly adult-like upperparts (including a very white head), but with a banded tail and streaking on the breast. It did not have white secondaries. A full adult was also reported, so two kites could be involved.

An American Pipit flew over before we started the walk, and Dan Berard reported that a Common Moorhen was on Bunker Pond first thing this morning. Another state park highlight was the Pied-billed Grebe on Lighthouse Pond. Apparently there's been a PBG on Lily Lake for a week or more. A list from this morning's walk is below.

A Yellow-headed Blackbird was among 1326 birds counted at Morning Flight. Palm, Northern Parula, Blackpoll, and Black-throated Blue were the dominant warblers.

As one would expect, an excellent hawk flight is underway today at the state park, with any given scan at around 10:00 a.m. yielding over 20 Sharp-shinneds, a few coops, kestrels and Merlins, and scattered buteos including Broad-winged, Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks.

Location: Cape May Point SP
Observation date: 9/29/08
Number of species: 66
Canada Goose 75
Mute Swan 10
Gadwall 3
Mallard 10
Northern Shoveler 1
Green-winged Teal 5
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 5
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 10
Little Blue Heron 2
Green Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 5
Osprey 10
Mississippi Kite 1
Northern Harrier 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk 50
Cooper's Hawk 5
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Kestrel 10
Merlin 5
Killdeer 2
Greater Yellowlegs 5
Lesser Yellowlegs 6
Western Sandpiper 1
Laughing Gull X
Herring Gull X
Great Black-backed Gull X
Forster's Tern X
Royal Tern 5
Rock Pigeon 25
Mourning Dove 10
Chimney Swift 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 15
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 75
American Crow 5
Fish Crow 1
Tree Swallow 300
Carolina Chickadee 2
Carolina Wren 5
House Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Gray Catbird 5
Northern Mockingbird 2
Brown Thrasher 3
European Starling 50
American Pipit 1
Cedar Waxwing 10
Northern Parula 1
Yellow Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Prairie Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 10
Savannah Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 2
Indigo Bunting 2
Bobolink 25
Red-winged Blackbird 25
Baltimore Oriole 1
American Goldfinch 10
House Sparrow 5

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